One natural attraction that has seen a sharp rise in popularity over recent years is jewelry ice — a name given to ice formations that sparkle like gemstones. These marvels of nature can only be seen on the coast of the Pacific-facing town of Toyokoro. They are formed by the exceptionally clear water of the Tokachi River, which flows out to the Pacific Ocean and washes ashore. The edges are rounded off by the impact of waves, forming crystalline balls of clear ice that sparkle brilliantly in the sunlight like majestic works of art. The best time to see them is from mid-January to late February.
Jewelry ice shines in different colors throughout the day, depending on the sunlight. Watching the ice glisten yellow, gold, purple or blue at different times is a joy to behold. However, be warned that the temperature can drop below -20°C (-4°F) depending on the time of day and weather, so be sure to wrap up warm no matter what. There are no public transport links, so going by taxi or alternative transport is recommended.
Hours: Season: Mid-January to late February
Address: Otsu Motomachi, Toyokoro-cho, Nakagawa-gun, Hokkaido
Airport: Obihiro Airport
+81-015-578-7202 (Toyokoro Tourism Bureau)
Approx. 45 minutes by car from Tokachi-Obihiro Airport
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